Recruiting for “Unglamorous” Jobs
Not every firm can offer the glamour of a Cisco, HP, or GE. And even in “glamorous” companies, not all the jobs are glamorous! Use an approach where you identify what job features you have to sell and then target the type of people that would naturally be attracted to those features.
Start with a referral program
* Provide them with a bonus for all referrals that are hired. Most organizations divide the bonus: ½ at hire, ½ after a pre-determined retention period (offer $ or other incentives that are meaningful to them).
* Use the new hires by asking them who else might be interested in working at your company.
Find individuals that are already attracted to your job features
1. Ask current employees why they like the job/organization.
2. For each thing they like (a “positive”), list places where people like that spend time/things they read.
3. For each “positive”, write what you’ll do to let them know about the job. Example: for outdoor labor in hot climate, look for people who love the outdoors (fishing, camping, swimming clubs).
Plan Ahead to Counter the Negatives in Your Discussions with Potential
SOURCE: John Sullivan, professor of management
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Articulate Your Vision So Employees Can Be Inspired
Do you need to have a vision? It’s not like you have a choice!
You have one whether you can articulate it or not.
You have one whether you actively pursue it or not.
The problem—of course—is, if you haven’t articulated it and haven’t communicated it, you can be pretty sure that others in your organization don’t have the same vision as you. I guess we don’t even need to talk about the “actively pursuing it” part, do we.
When everyone knows, understands, buys into, and has a daily role in achieving the vision, the vision will become reality. By now, the FISH Philosophy is well known.
Getting that vision outside your brain, or
* Ask employees to write, “Why do you work here/what do you do?”
* Other things we’ve asked employees in vision articulating sessions that’ll get you the words you need–
Out of the many, many things you write down you’ll be able to piece together a short sentence that’s understood by all. With one client, we helped them get their multi-sentence vision down to a short sentence by writing each word on an 8½x11 sheet and taping the sheets in order around the room. People took away sheet after sheet as words were deemed to be extraneous. In the end, even some words were crossed out and new ones written in. Result: one sentence, 7 words.
Once the vision is articulated, communicate it in every way, everywhere (marketing materials, employment applications, employee handbook, orientation, performance evaluation measures, incentive program).
There are also excellent practice exercises in Chapter 2 of The Leadership Genius of George W. Bush for verbally communication of the vision.
Employee Orientation Made Easy - Really
Let’s start with the most important pieces of information:
Yes. You have to help employees learn their jobs right away.
No. Telling them to just “ask you if they need help” is not going to get them to productivity fast
Yes. Research shows that they’ll learn fast — if it’s fun.
No. Fun, gee-whiz, wacky training will not help them retain & use what they learned UNLESS what they’re learning now is what they’ll use really soon (useless– learning how to complete time off forms now that they can’t use for 6 months).
Yes. Orientation starts before day 1 (really, it begins in the recruiting process) and just blends into ongoing learning through day to day coaching from supervisors, HR Department, Training Dept., outside coach, reading. Research shows that training alone creates a 22.4% increase in productivity training and ongoing coaching increased productivity by 88%.
No. You don’t want to be part of the statistics: $62 billion spent annually in training in the U.S. alone without ongoing coaching & support only 5-10% is retained long enough to use it.
Yes. Training soft skills is important and can help new employees get off on the right foot.
No. You shouldn’t be scared off by the recent “employee leaves ethics/diversity training and shoots co-workers”. Training didn’t create this situation. Training is one part of managing employees. Day to day listening, guiding, and if that doesn’t work, damage control, is the other.
Ideas for interactive orientation & ongoing learning:
* Written exams and weekly quizzes test restaurant server knowledge continually at a couple of restaurants in Chicago and Houston. After 30 days, and annually thereafter, servers must pass an extensive written test composed of 80 open-ended questions. A comprehensive training book that includes photos of menu items, descriptions, ingredients used, prices, prep times, restaurant history, etc. is kept at the restaurant and copies are available to take home. In addition, they do short presentations at pre-shift meetings on industry trends, product info given by suppliers (along with written descriptions for servers to memorize and use when talking to customers), and suggestive selling and service pointers.
* Web-based or CD-rom simulation of their job - think Sim City (it’s captivating because it’s doing the actual tasks, and it’s easy to use - not too many bells & whistles).
* Start a Book Club with new employees and current - ideas suggested by our
“A Job Well Done” Will Retain Employees
You just read how to help new employees become productive - have a “job well done”. So of course training and coaching is important. A new book, Why Pride Matters More Than Money by John Katzenbach, tells stories about all kinds of people in all kinds of companies who are motivated and want to stay in their job and/or at their company because they feel they’re doing a great job. In addition to helping them be successful, give them resources to see it. Use these exercises with your staff:
* What am I good at?: literally have them write all the things they’re good at (this doubles as their input to this year’s performance appraisal!).
* What I’m thankful for: in studies at the University of California, Davis, subjects were given journals and told to keep a list of things they were grateful for, annoyed about, or neutral over. People in the gratitude group were more satisfied and optimistic than those in the annoyed and neutral groups, and they even felt more connected to others, slept better, and had fewer headaches and sore throats. To reap these rewards, jot down 5 ways your life has been made better each day; you’ll feel the good effects in two or three weeks.
* What I did well today: ditto on the write 3-5 things & ditto on the outcome!
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